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The Relay for Life event?


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Having had several members of my family succumb to Cancer as well as friends who have been lost to this relentless, debilitating life taking disease; I have looked for ways to help others and have looked for charities that I feel help patients as well as those who are supporting patients! Over the past few decades, I have seen the "Relay for Life" organization become the one charity that seems to get the most attention by having a yearly event even in Second Life.

I have several questions about this "charity" within Second Life. Having been contacted and prompted to "Help" with the relay for life by "Giving"( paying Lindens to the donation boxes ) stating that it helps cancer patients.

It has not been outlined as to WHOM this event really helps? A breakdown of the funds and the tax exemptions.

Does a Creator receive a Tax Deduction receipt for all the "funds" they raise from their "Donation" ?

Do we, as Second Life citizens also receive the Tax Deductible receipt for our personal taxes?

Does the Company Linden Labs itself receive the Tax Deduction?

Being that this event is made up of different smaller events in hopes of receiving donations for Relay for Life, ultimately these funds are suppose to be given to the American Cancer Society, but I have little faith in the stewardship of Relay for Life. I am asking for the designers and creators, owners and those who support Linden labs everyday by paying for any item that is bought in Second Life.

Respectfully,

Alaintha

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3 minutes ago, Alaintha Loring said:

Does a Creator receive a Tax Deduction receipt for all the "funds" they raise from their "Donation" ?

Do we, as Second Life citizens also receive the Tax Deductible receipt for our personal taxes?

Does the Company Linden Labs itself receive the Tax Deduction?

as all donations are in L$  taxes are not likely involved. The L$ are game tokens.

The organisation might have agreements with LL about converting/processing fees, but that's something different.

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Thank you Juan for your input. However, since each and every resident/citizen of SL uses real money to buy Lindens. We can also receive $US dollars in my case, for selling items in SL. This interaction involves Monetary Funds. I am asking who receives the Tax Deductible receipts from the American Cancer Society?

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I believe Juan is correct. I have never received a tax deduction by taking part in any of the RFL events -- as a creator or as a buyer.  In the PAST people have posted receipts showing that money did go to the charity the event was sponsoring.  Best of course would be to contact someone high up in the RFL organization.  The place for that in SL would be here:

 

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/American Cancer Society/128/128/2

 

Better yet to answer some of your questions about where the money goes you can look at the real life website and ask Google.  Many creators stopped taking part in RFL because of where the money was actually going. So do your research and make your decisions.   

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That exactly answers my questions about Linden Labs and the Relay for Life event! It is better to donate privately to your choice of charity rather than create for an "event" that you do not benefit from.

However, I am still very curious IF Linden Labs is taking the Tax Break from "giving" to this Charity!!

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On 3/5/2023 at 3:58 PM, Alaintha Loring said:

Being that this event is made up of different smaller events in hopes of receiving donations for Relay for Life, ultimately these funds are suppose to be given to the American Cancer Society, but I have little faith in the stewardship of Relay for Life. I am asking for the designers and creators, owners and those who support Linden labs everyday by paying for any item that is bought in Second Life.

People have covered the tax thing, but on whether the money gets to the charity, yes it does. ACS have their own accounts on Second Life and send out official vendors and kiosks that pay the donations directly to them. When a kiosk or vendor gets paid, it is initially sent to the person who placed the item, but is immediately and automatically sent on to the charity's avatar. You're not relying on a regular resident holding all the money and being honest about passing it on.

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11 hours ago, Polenth Yue said:

 but on whether the money gets to the charity, yes it does. ACS have their own accounts on Second Life 

for people like me, it's not the doubt if it goes to ACS, but about what they do with it.
(in EU it would be impossible to run a non profit in the way they do)

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Anyone can easily find out "what they do with it" with a five minute web search followed up with some reading.

The American Cancer Society publishes audited annual reports and financial statements on their website showing exactly where every penny they collect is spent. What percentage is given away, what percentage is administrative, etc. Every registered charity in the US and Canada has to provide this info as part of their ability to hold onto tax charitable status with their respective governments.

A decent charity will spend 75% on their programs, and 25% on administration (typically broken down into administration at 15% and fundraising at 10%). Some of the best charities manage to give up to 90% of their intake on programs, but these are rare.

Here's a link to the 2021 Financial Statements for the ACS ...

https://www.cancer.org/about-us/financial-governance-information/combined-financial-statements/2021.html

In summary, using the without donor restrictions info, we see that in 2021 the ACS spent $481 million on programs and $120 million on administration, which is a roughly a split of 80% on programs and 20% on administration which is very good for a charity org.

Edited by Katherine Heartsong
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2 hours ago, Katherine Heartsong said:

which is a roughly a split of 80% on programs and 20% on administration which is very good for a charity org.

in Europe also the salaries and bonusses count for top manement, and those are .. also not hard to find .. and forr EU understandings... to much.

Edited by Alwin Alcott
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12 hours ago, Alwin Alcott said:

for people like me, it's not the doubt if it goes to ACS, but about what they do with it.
(in EU it would be impossible to run a non profit in the way they do)

The concern raised was whether the money got to the charity, not about what the charity did with it. My post answered that concern and not any other. I personally don't think the perfect charity exists, and if you wait for it, you'll just end up helping nobody. I've seen way too many people who say they won't support RFL who also happen not to support any of the other charity events either.

The original poster's situation is a little different, but not doing charity unless it comes with tax benefits can also result in not doing a whole lot of anything for anyone.

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55 minutes ago, Polenth Yue said:

The concern raised was whether the money got to the charity, not about what the charity did with it. My post answered that concern and not any other. I personally don't think the perfect charity exists, and if you wait for it, you'll just end up helping nobody. I've seen way too many people who say they won't support RFL who also happen not to support any of the other charity events either.

The original poster's situation is a little different, but not doing charity unless it comes with tax benefits can also result in not doing a whole lot of anything for anyone.

refuse to donate to the USA type of charities in SL doesn't mean the people don't give to their own local real non profit charities.

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Everyone's situation is different of course but here is my personal breakdown, take.  

People dropping a few dollars into the Salvation Army's red bucket* don't expect to get a tax receipt for that.  Or any other "spare change" giving for that matter.  You drop the money, feel good for doing it, and promptly forget about.  I see the Relay for Life kiosk donations as a direct equivalent of that: if I drop 1000 lindens into the kiosk, that's about five and half US dollars (ish).  I'm not going to worry about or expect a tax receipt for that.**

I do realize that creators donating proceeds from certain sales can (and probably often does) amount to a few hundred dollars but even then, depending on the person, their overall tax situation, getting a receipt for it might still be fairly moot.  I give a few hundred a year IRL to select charities and even though I get proper receipts it does not have any real effect on my own personal taxes since I always just use "standard deductions". Again each persons miles may vary.

Relay for Life has been a RL event since about 1985 and is at present 'is one of the largest peer-to-peer fundraising events in the world'***  The RL American Cancer Society (ACS) official events website specifically lists the Relay event in Second Life as a properly official thing so I'm fairly confident that the money given to the kiosks is making it to them, and translated out to the RL coffers. I have no reason to doubt the official breakdown from them concerning RFL events on their official websites.  As for donating, or not, to the ACS is a matter of personal choice.  I do give to them directly, personally.

---

* I don't endorse giving to the Salvation Army. I don't give to them for personal reasons.  I just use them in example as a readily recognizable event around the Christmas holidays.

** I suppose technically I could ask for a receipt from a RL spare change event and I'm sure they probably do have  pad for recording and providing proof of a cash donation when asked, but  never have and have never seen anyone do so either. I do know, however, that for RL Relay For Life event fundraisers there is a proper recording sheet for larger cash donations. I've never asked for one when I've "sponsored" a walker.

*** Their own words from their official Relay For Life events page.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 3/5/2023 at 11:15 AM, Alaintha Loring said:

every resident/citizen of SL uses real money to buy Lindens.

i dont.
As for RFL, the money goes direct to a Linden Lab verified account and there is a agreement between LL and ACS with Stingray as the ACS rep.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi,  I'm the staff Director of the American Cancer Society in Second Life (since 2006) and can confirm that all donations collected through our official fundraising tools are routed through the owner's account and automatically to the Relay For Life account. All of the donations are used by the American Cancer Society in the same as any other Relay For Life event irl.

We do provide receipts upon request, but usually for higher donation amounts. The example of the Salvation Army is a good one. Average donations in SL are about 50 cents at a time, so receipts are not a scalable solution. However, if you want a receipt,  we encourage you to make your donation on our event website (relayforlife.org/secondlife) and your email confirmation is accepted by the IRS. 

In addition to being the world leader in cancer research, the American Cancer Society does "reinvest" funds in supporting cancer patients, caregivers, and volunteers inside Second Life. We are grateful to be partners with LL through multiple fundraising events and our island,  where we offer cancer support groups and we connect cancer patients and caregivers to RL services like the Hope Lodge and rides to treatment. 

If you have a question as to our legitimacy. I encourage you to reach out to LL via support ticket  or the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345. 

I also would invite you to our annual Relay For Life 24-hour marathon event on June 10-11 to see what we're all about. It's a life-changing experience that is as much a celebration if survivorship as it is a fundraiser.  And at 9pm slt, we honor lived ones lost with a moving Luminaria Ceremony.  Since 2005, the RFL volunteer community in Second Life has grown into the thousands and I'm proud and honored to support them and give them the opportunity to use theor Second Life to make a difference in their RL. 

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